Tomorrow, November 19th, is the annual Women's Entrepreneurship Day (WED). This is a day on which the work of women entrepreneurs worldwide is observed, discussed, and celebrated.
If you're new to WED, allow me to establish immediate legitimacy. The inaugural event in 2014 was held at the United Nations, with 144 countries observing the first WED. New York State's Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City's Mayor Bill De Blasio both proclaimed it an official day.
Forbes magazine wrote that the intention was also "to mobilize a global network of female business owners, entrepreneurs and change makers who support and empower this community of women entrepreneurs and their businesses."
Women's Entrepreneurship Day was founded by entrepreneur and humanitarian Wendy Diamond.
To commemorate this very important day, I have gathered 30 quotes to inspire, motivate, and even kick us in the rear -- from successful and powerful women entrepreneurs, past and present (in no particular order). Ladies, I salute you and your work.
30 Inspiring and Motivational Quotes from Female Entrepreneurs
- "People respond well to those that are sure of what they want." -- Anna Wintour, editor-in-Chief, American Vogue
- "Whatever it is that you think you want to do, and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that, stop making excuses. You can do anything." -- Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and CEO, Birchbox.
- "Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist: While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!" -- Lori Greiner, inventor, QVC host and 'Shark Tank' investor.
- "With kids, they don't do what you want them to do when you want them to do it. Organizations don't necessarily, either. You've got to listen. You've got to learn how to influence." -- Ellen J. Kullman, formerly Chair and Chief Executive Officer of DuPont.
- "As a leader, it's a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behavior you want others to follow." -- Himanshu Bhatia, Founder and CEO, Rose International.
- "Invite people into your life that don't look or think like you." -- Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments.
- "This is what will change the world...a ground swell of people pouring their energy into manifesting their "preferred future" instead of being worn down by disillusion and disappointment." -- Molly Carlile, "The Deathtalker®" and international speaker/author.
- "I never dreamed about success. I worked for it." -- Estée Lauder
- "The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves." -- Barbara Corcoran, real estate magnate and 'Shark Tank' investor.
- "Life-fulfilling work is never about the money -- when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it." -- Eileen Fisher, fashion designer.
- "Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference." -- Alison Pincus, co-founder, One Kings Lane
- "Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished." -- Lisa Cash Hanson, Snuggwugg CEO
- "What I wanted was to be allowed to do the thing in the world that I did best--which I believed then and believe now is the greatest privilege there is. When I did that, success found me." -- Debbi Fields, the creator of Mrs. Fields.
- "Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them." -- Marissa Meyer, CEO, Yahoo!
- "Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else." -- Sara Blakely, founder, Spanx
- "Your job as leader is to stay as close in touch as possible with those closest to the action." -- Kat Cole, president, Focus Brands
- "One of the most important things I have learned is that businesses don't fail, entrepreneurs give up. Now sometimes, giving up is the right decision. But usually you just need to dig in and figure out how to make things better. Remember: Every day is a new opportunity to get up and do it better than yesterday!" -- Adda Birnir, founder and instructor, Skillcrush
- "True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed... Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection." -- Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
- "Build something you're passionate about. As an entrepreneur, you have to have the passion and drive to stay the course." -- Alexandra Chong, CEO and founder, Lulu
- "I know society says you should be a certain way, but I think [you should] stop and look at what is your natural way of being who you are." -- Ari Horie, founder, Women's StartUp Lab
- "It's up to us to all challenge our own boundaries, our own comfort zones, and get out and see what else is out there in the world and what else is possible, and give ourselves a shot to go a little bit deeper, a little bit further." -- Jennifer Kushell, founder and CEO of Young & Successful Media and YSN.com (Your Success Now)
- "Our fear of the unknown and our fear of making mistakes trick us into focusing on what we don't know or can't do. When we give ourselves the freedom to be uncertain and less than perfect, then we can start thinking, 'What do I know? What can I do?' That's when the adventure starts -- learning, thriving, conquering, failing, recouping, and having a ton of fun." -- Kristin Smith, COO, Dolly, Inc.
- "If you are committed to creating value and if you aren't afraid of hard times, obstacles become utterly unimportant. A nuisance perhaps, but with no real power. The world respects creation; people will get out of your way." -- Candice Carpenter Olson, Co-CEO, Fullbridge
- "Treating people with kindness and respect seems elementary but is not always reciprocated. I often run into people who tell me a story about how I impacted their life -- most often by an act of kindness that they never forgot." -- April Uchitel, chief brand officer, Spring
- "People don't take opportunities because the timing is bad, the financial side unsecure. Too many people are overanalyzing. Sometimes you just have to go for it." -- Michelle Zatlyn, Co-founder of CloudFlare
- "Making the decision to not follow a system, or someone else's rules has allowed me to really dig into what my own strengths and gifts are without spending time feeling jaded or wasteful." -- Ishita Gupta, founder of Fear.less Magazine
- "So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard." -- Caterina Fake, Co-founder, Flickr and Hunch.
- "It was a risk. I had my husband and I was pregnant with my oldest son. But I don't look at risk the way other people do. When you're an entrepreneur, you have to go in feeling like you're going to be successful." -- Lillian Vernon, founder, Lillian Vernon Corporation.
- "I believe in a quiet, strong and grounded leadership. I think some of the best leaders are those whose work is widely known and respected but who, themselves, are relatively unknown." -- Rachael Chong, founder/CEO, Catchafire
- "What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you want to see in the organization." -- Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
Bonus: "Somewhere in the world there is a darkness only you can heal. To do it, you have to face your shame." -- Noelle Schwantes, author and founder, Change Your $tory, and the proud wife of the one who wrote today's column.